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Slopes of Hope: Recovery center teams up with local ski resort for a mental health day


RIRIE — Need a mental health day? A local ski resort and nonprofit center are partnering together to offer a free recovery day at the resort.

The event is called “Slopes of Hope.”, and it’s organized by Brick House Recovery, a faith-based treatment center in Idaho Falls and Kelly Canyon Ski Resort. Held on March 1, the event will bring awareness to mental health, recovery and suicide prevention through recreation therapy.

“There are very few outlets for those families that are struggling in silence. So part of it is to normalize the conversation and bring people together with a common need and get them out doing something, giving them that release,” said Jason Coombs, founder of Brick House Recovery in Idaho Falls.

“This last year has been brutal on those with mental health and addictions,” he added. “After attending an increased number of funerals, we knew we had to try something fresh, something different, something attractive. An event like this has to appeal to the families who are facing this struggle.”

Slopes of Hope will offer free lift passes and rentals on March 1. Coombs said there will be resources at the event such as The Center for Hope and Soldiers of Hope, two nonprofits that help with mental health and drug overdose awareness respectively. There will also be music, food, and speakers.

“There will be two phenomenal speakers that will completely inspire and inject hope in those that are hopeless,” said Coombs.

Coombs explained he has dealt with long-term recovery from substance use disorder and mental health.

Doug Swanson, the sales and marketing director at Kelly Canyon told there are already over 100 people registered for Slopes of Hope and the resort is looking forward to the event.

“I think the pandemic has opened a lot of people’s eyes to the challenge that is in front of so many people that are having struggles with life or dealing with reality,” said Swanson. “I think we can do a better job for our youngsters and finding them outlets and maybe escape from things being hard and just go get on the mountain and ski.”

Swanson added he is a recovering addict and alcoholic. He has been sober for about 25 years.

Slopes of Hope is happening on Tuesday, March 1 with full-day lift and night ticket access from 12:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Kelly Canyon Ski Resort. A recovery celebration will be held at the lodge from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The event is free for anyone who registers, which includes lift tickets, rentals, food, music, special speakers, and a recovery meeting at the lodge. Click here to register.

Slopes of Hope Flyer
Slopes of Hope event details.

According to a news release, anyone can make charitable contributions to support the cause. All donations and contributions during the event will go to support the East Idaho Crisis Center and The Center for Hope.

Swanson said anyone can come at any time during the event. You don’t have to be there at the beginning or at the end. You can even show up after work.

“Just come and share some time with us no matter how much that time is,” Swanson said.

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